LEE’S SUMMIT, MO (KCTV) — Law enforcement in Missouri no longer has to execute federal gun laws.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed the Second Amendment Preservation Act into law Saturday afternoon.
“It is our time to protect the Second Amendment. This is exactly what this bill does and it’s time to get this thing signed and get it made into law,” Parson said.
Parson signed the measure in front of a crowd of supporters at Frontier Justice gun shop and gun range in Lee's Summit.
The Governor’s office said the new law prohibits state and local cooperation with federal officials that attempt to enforce any laws, rules, orders, or actions that violate the Second Amendment rights of Missourians.
It also allows for a $50,000 lawsuit against any officer or agency who knowingly acts under any federal or state law to deprive a Missouri citizen of their Second Amendment rights.
“At the end of the day we’re protecting Missourians rights that we’re guaranteed in the constitution,” state senator Eric Burlison said.
Burlison co-sponsored the legislation.
“All of our rights are threatened when we don’t have the second amendment. It’s the one right that upholds all the other rights to make sure those rights are never going to be taken away,” Burlison said.
Supporters of the new law say its purpose is to stand up to the federal government and prevent any overreach that restrict gun access to law-abiding citizens.
“We are making sure that whatever President Biden does by executive order, we are not going to enforce. In essence, by signing this bill today, we are telling President Biden to go pound sand,” Burlison said.
Earlier this year President Biden signed an executive order directing the department of justice to do six things to address gun violence; create a rule to stop the proliferation of “ghost guns,” create a rule that subjects some braces used on rifles to regulation of the National Firearms Act, publish model “red flag” legislation for states, invest in evidence-based anti-violence interventions, issue an annual report on firearms trafficking, and appoints a new director of the ATF.
The model “red flag” legislation is up on the White House website.
The ATF has also proposed rule proposed a rule regulating pistol-stabilizing braces. The accessories, which some say increase the accuracy of AR style rifles, came under scrutiny after one was used in a mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, in March 2021.
“That is simply an accessory, like any other accessory that goes with a firearm. And for the government to tell us that we can’t have this brace, and that we can’t use it because they deem it somehow more dangerous than any other accessory on any other firearm is a complete overreach,” owner of Frontier Justice Mike Brown said.
Brown said the new ATF rule may be the first federal action that puts Missouri’s new law in action.
“It will probably be tested on that if the ATF does in fact does move forward and try to take that right away from the American people,” Brown said.
But opponents of the new law believe the courts will strike it down soon.
“No state has the authority to nullify federal law,” said Kristin Bowen, the chapter leader with Missouri’s chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
Bowen became an advocate for change in 2015 when her two young sons started to ask questions about recent mass shootings, particularly those in schools.
“I couldn’t look at my kids in the eyes anymore and say that ‘this wouldn’t happen here’. It just didn’t look like the adults were going to take action, and so I needed to get involved,” Bowne said.
Bowen listened to all the hearings as the new Missouri law went through the legislature. She believes the law will cause unnecessary confusion for the law enforcement battling the rise in gun violence across the state.
The Missouri Sheriff’s Association agrees on that point.
In statement released in April on the then-proposed law, they said the legislation would offer "a layer of protection to dangerous criminals. For example, if a dangerous criminal robs the local bank at gunpoint or a child is kidnapped at gunpoint, Missouri law enforcement could not investigate these matters or offer “material aid” to the FBI in any way.”
“Missouri already had some of the weakest gun laws in the nation. And after an extraordinarily horrible year for gun violence, with also by the way record gun sales in the state, we are really disappointed,” Bowen said.
A spokesperson for the Kansas City Police Department told KCTV5:
“As always we will comply with whatever changes occur and enforce the law accordingly. We cannot speak to what impact this might have for our department as that remains to be seen. We have and will continue to work with our federal partners in regard to gun crimes.”